Letters: Supermarket plan would be abomination for area

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Have your say

IN all my days I have never heard of such a stupid, uninformed decision as the one taken to build a supermarket at Oxgangs Path once they have moved the church and the social work department (News, January 9).

I was brought up in that delightful area and can remember the pleasure of Oxgangs Broadway. The stores in the area just now are all that is needed.

Has the council ever tried to find out what the people who live in the area think about this abomination?

The best use of the land would be to build sheltered housing, with trees and gardens to make it a pleasant and beautiful area.

Anyone at the council who thinks this plan should be approved ought to be removed from their job.

K Mackay, Blackford Avenue, Edinburgh

Poor are having to bear a heavy burden

I NOTE that the French government has introduced a new rate of income tax, of 75 per cent, on incomes in excess of 800,000 euros per annum.

The excuse given by the UK Government for abolishing our higher rate of 50 per cent was that it would lead to an exodus of our most talented and therefore valuable citizens.

Can we therefore anticipate a sudden influx of French bankers, footballers, pop singers and television presenters along with ex-prime ministers seeking financial sanctuary?

I think not!

Is it not somewhat strange that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are, at present, spending a fortune, of our money, on adverts hounding ordinary taxpayers to send in their tax returns before January 31, or face a £100 fine, while no apparent effort is being made to close the loopholes, which enable multi-millionaires, with competent accountants, to avoid paying anything like their share, and, in some cases, nothing at all?

The French Revolution was ignited by a totally unfair system of taxation. It seems they have learned their lesson. Is it because of the prevalence of millionaires in successive British Cabinets that the poor in our society must shoulder such an unequal burden?

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Land reform would be good place to start

The great Reform Act of 1832 swept away a system of “Rotten Boroughs” whereby seats in parliament were effectively in the gift of landowners.

A modern equivalent of the Rotten Borough is the cosy arrangement of “remuneration committees”, salted by their pals, which still enable the 
clubable CEOs in the City of London – and the financiers and bankers who have ripped the backside out of savings and pension funds – to pay themselves ten times what they are worth.

Until the rewards of the rich are commensurate with the received value of the work they do, this country cannot prosper. Perhaps in The Dear Leader’s New Jerusalem there will be a place for the suffering of the poor to limit the runaway pension pots, and addiction to tax avoidance, of the rich. Meaningful land reform – a long overdue logical extension to the Reform Act – wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

The pros and cons of those wind turbines

I DECIDED to list the diverse arguments about wind turbines.

Disadvantages:

• Turbines use foreign steel and labour and foreign companies and shareholders get the profits;

• UK manufacturing companies are at a disadvantage because of high energy costs caused by subsidies;

• CO2 reductions claims proved false;

• People living near a wind farm could have the value of their houses cut by up to a third and some houses could become virtually unsaleable;

• Serious health problems;

• Noise and blade flicker frighten horses and thus are a danger to riders;

• Catastrophic pollution in China leading to health problems;

• Thousands of birds and bats slaughtered;

• Landscape destruction;

• For every renewables job created two to three are lost in the larger 
economy;

• Risk of power blackouts;

• The electricity user is lining the pockets of developers and landowners;

• Fuel poverty numbers rise with every new turbine.

Advantages:

• A few local jobs picking up and concealing dead birds and bats;

• Keeping tame research scientists and climate change quangos aboard the green gravy train.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Scotland in need of a strong Labour Party

With the majority of Scottish Labour’s Holyrood group voting against free school meals for primaries 1-3 and with the abysmal turnout of their Westminster group at last year’s bedroom tax vote, is it safe to assume that the Labour Party is longer the party of the poor? What would Hardie and MacLean think of the Labour Party’s behaviour of late?

It is shocking that a country with such a proud Labour past should be let down by such a poor and disorganised Labour Party.

Scotland deserves a Labour Party with the courage to form a consensus and the ability to convincingly oppose.

There is a growing labour movement in Scotland centred around improving living standards and opposing austerity. This movement can never be represented by a party such as Scottish Labour who take orders directly from a Westminster Labour Party trying to appeal to right wing voters.

With the poor and vulnerable being used more and more as scapegoats for an economic situation created by the recklessness of the rich, a strong Labour Party is essential for 
Scotland.

Andrew Wells, Edinburgh